- Eskom says that it will be suspending loadshedding from 10:00 to 16:00 on Thursday and Friday.
- Loadshedding returns during the evenings from 16:00 when Stage 2 comes into effect.
- The utility says that it is managing South Africa’s electricity demand and improvements are on the horizon.
Thanks to steadily improving generation performance and lower electricity demand from South Africans during the day, Eskom says in its latest schedule announcement that it will suspend loadshedding from the hours of 10:00 to 16:00 every day until Friday.
Stage 1 will be implemented from 05:00 to 10:00 whereafter loadshedding will cease until 16:00 when Stage 2 will come into effect. This will be maintained until 05:00 when Stage 1 will return. Then the pattern repeats until Saturday when Stage 1 comes into effect from 05:00.
In the latest power alert from the utility, Eskom says it will continue to monitor the energy grid and make any announcements and changes as they are needed. It said on Wednesday it had a peak demand of 26 435MW but did not disclose its generation availability.
This change comes after loadshedding was suspended for just over four hours on Wednesday from around 11:00 to 16:00. Eskom will usually increase the power cuts severity after 16:00 to handle the load of South Africans returning home from work to cook dinner and perform their nightly activities.
According to Electricity Minister Kgosientsho Ramokgopa who spoke to the media on Tuesday, the utility has been steadily managing to beat the electricity demand with its generation capacity, but power cuts still linger due to Eskom’s use of open-cycle gas turbines which run expensive diesel.
“I’m not suggesting that we have ended load shedding,” the minister said, “I’m simply saying that we can see that there’s light at the end of the tunnel and this is not an oncoming train but it’s a system whose health continues to improve and improve at levels that even exceeded our projections and expectations.”
He added that even with planned maintenance and the possibility of breakdowns, Eskom has the current capacity to keep power cuts at Stage 3 or below. Ramokgopa claims that the system will continue to improve.